State board of education gets input on public education funding

The Illinois State Board of Education wants to hear from Illinoisans on where the state should be spending its education money.

ISBE officials are holding a series of hearings to gather input on fiscal year 2023 state funding for public education. Testimony can be given in writing and at budget hearings taking place this month.

At the first hearing, Rebecca Wattleworth, a teacher in the Warrensburg-Latham School District 11, pleaded for $350 million in evidence-based funding to get students back on track from the pandemic.

“Research shows that resources matter in being able to do this by providing the materials, support and high-quality educators our students need to succeed,” Wattleworth said.

Dave Ardrey from the Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools said he is in favor of the evidence-based funding formula, but would tweak it.

“I think there is probably some room for conversations about some adjustments on how we distribute those funds,” Ardrey said. “Try to get some of our lower-end schools up to a more manageable place.”

After the input is received, ISBE will make its recommendation for funding to Governor J.B. Pritzker and the General Assembly.

Wattleworth told the board the last 18 months have been unlike any other.

“This is my 27th year teaching, and I have never seen such stress, disarray, anxiety, social emotional and more issues that I can’t even find a name that accurately fits it,” Wattleworth said.

The next budget hearing will be held at 4 p.m. on Oct. 14.

This article was originally posted on State board of education gets input on public education funding

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